I’ve spent a lot of needed time in 2012 realizing how much I NEED God–I have such a ridiculous tendency to depend on myself. My son, Doug, has been realizing the same. Here’s a stanza from a poem he recently wrote:
I start by asking for help of heavenly realms
so my voice can carry my story, my psalm
about a slave knelt down at the foot of a throne
then stretched out and laid out prone
down on the raw, bare balls of my palms
thoughts born of a storm far from calm.
Drawn off experience and painted in red
these words are not written–but bled.
~ Doug Handwork
My New Year’s resolution?? To know Him, embrace Him intimately, and trust Him more.
photo credit: pphotography-blog.blogspot.com
Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Psalm 86:4
“As the heliotrope looks to the sun for its smile, so turn I my heart to thee. Thou art as the brazen serpent to my sick nature, and I lift up my soul’s eye to thee that I may live. I know that the nearer I am to thee the greater is my joy, therefore be pleased to draw me nearer while I am labouring to draw near. It is not easy to lift a soul at all; it needs a strong shoulder at the wheel when a heart sticks in the miry clay of despondency: it is less easy to lift a soul up to the Lord, for the height is great as well as the weight oppressive; but the Lord will take the will for the deed, and come in with a hand of almighty grace to raise his poor servant out of the earth and up to heaven.” ~ The Treasury of David
I spread forth my hands to You!
I spread forth my hands to You; my soul thirsts after You like a thirsty land [for water]. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for on You do I lean and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my inner self to You. Psalm 143:6,8
The other day I wrote about insomnia being a possible indicator of a lack of faith or of dealing with a problem in my human reasoning rather than giving it to the Lord. When I looked in my favorite book 🙂 for advice, I saw this wonderful prayer of David’s. Perhaps the soil of your heart is dry and cracked and thirsting for water as David’s was.
I reach my hands unto Him like a beggar begging for alms–and yet, I know that God is disposed to answer my prayer with living water. However, I know my sorrow, my fear, can deafen me and so I call upon the Lord to “cause me to hear [His] lovingkindness.” When I lift my soul to the Lord, He leans down in his multi-faceted grace and lifts my fears and sadnesses from me.
While cleaning a closet this morning, I came across something that I translated into Spanish and gave to the women in our church years ago. It bears repeating, and I have NO idea who to credit with this.
The Possible and the Impossible: We mothers should take care of the possible and trust in God for the impossible.
- Love, afirm, encourage, teach, listen
- Pray intelligently, logically, urgently, without ceasing, and with faith
- Enjoy being a mother
- Provide a caring, happy home
- Minister to the physical and emotional necessities the best we can
The Impossible (God’s Part):
- Convict of sin
- Create a hunger and thirst for righteousness
- Bring one to a place of total dedication to the Lord
- Show us ourselves as we are without discouraging us
- Continually fill us with His Holy Spirit for our sanctification and His service
God IS in the waiting.
Not until then did he seek comfort and counself from his wife, who had always been his solace at such times; throwing himself down beside her on the wagon seat, he told her the story of his late discoveries, the absence of the king, the death of his kinsman. For a second the woman’s heart quailed before the fresh difficulties, but she forgot self at the look in her husband’s face. Her quiet reply, “We will wait, for God is in the waiting.” ~ The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric. P. Kelly
Mike has taught me so much about waiting! I’m the kind of person that wants to make things happen. I want to fix things. Many, many times in fearful moments, Mike has spoken to me as the wise wife spoke in the quote above. Wait, dear. Let’s see what God will do.
LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. Psalm 48:15
My great-grandparents close to arriving in New Mexico after crossing the Rocky Mountains in their covered wagon. Don't know where they came up with a photographer!
Why is it that some of us fear change so much and others of us celebrate change? I just got off the phone with my brother a few minutes ago and he mentioned that it seems like he’s good in one thing for about 5 – 7 years. I told him about a paper that I’d done about our family when I took a counseling course while working on my Christian Education degree. The assignment was to go back through your family tree looking for tendencies–everything from health tendencies to emotional and spiritual tendencies. One of the main things I discovered is that on both sides we’re a family on the move. Since we came over from England in the 1600s and from Norway in the late 1800s, we’ve been moving. Not one younger generation has lived in the same place as its parents. Usually the parents haven’t even stayed in the same place.
Enjoying change in the way I’ve discussed is a natural tendency in me, not supernatural. It’s certainly nothing to take credit about. However, going into the unknown like Abraham did, by faith, is another story.
By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God. Hebrew 11:8-10
By faith in these verses means belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same. That goes beyond the natural enjoyment of change, to faith that God will lead us exactly where He wants us to go if we keep our eyes on Him. We have recently experienced that peace and that faith that comes from knowing that He is guiding you after a period of not being sure. Recently I accepted a position at a school in Guatemala that was a good provision and a country we were attracted to for ministry, but both of us felt terrible after accepting the job. We turned it down two days later and since then have experienced such a rest about our uncertain plans due to a renewed confidence that He is guiding.
When I was little there were certain comfort foods that mom would make when we were sick: rice with raisins, cinnamon, and milk; soft-boiled eggs over toast bites; her famous chicken soup. These foods still comfort me today!
As a Christian when I need comfort–from grief, from fear, from worry, from stress–I run to the Psalms. I’m there now as we struggle to hear from God for our next move–I told Mike a worry that I had about God’s direction the other night, “What if it is God’s will for us to move to St. Augustine and I get a job offer for Costa Rica or Curaçao?” Mike just laughed (not unkindly) and said, “Don’t you think our God is big enough either to close doors or give us a bad feeling?”
Here is today’s comfort food from the Psalms:
You will show me the path of life;
In your presence is fullness of joy;
At your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11